Biocon Limited Chairman Kiran Mazumdar Shaw has raised her voice against the persecution of the minority Muslim community in India by Hindutva organizations, calling it dangerous for India’s leadership in the IT sector.
Posting the news of Muslim shopkeepers being stopped from working in Karnataka on her Twitter, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw wrote, “Karnataka has always forged inclusive economic development and we must not allow such communal exclusion- If ITBT became communal it would destroy our global leadership. @BSBommai please resolve this growing religious divide.”
In the same tweet, Majumdar Shaw has tagged Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and urged him to find some solution to this growing communal divide. In another tweet, she said, “Our Chief Minister is a very progressive leader. I am sure he will resolve this issue soon.”
Campaign on social media
In Karnataka, some decrees have been issued like prohibiting Muslim shopkeepers from setting up shops inside the fairs held around the temple premises. Some Muslim traders in coastal Karnataka had closed their shops in a bandh called after the state High Court ordered a ban on hijab in educational institutions. It was only after this that there was a demand not to allow them to set up shops in the temple premises.
In temples where Muslim shopkeepers are being prevented from setting up shop, they have been doing business for years. These include the annual Hoja Margudi and Kollur Mookambika fairs. Apart from this, such restrictions have also been imposed in Durgaparameshwari, Mangaladevi and Puttur Mahalingeshwara temples in South Karnataka. A campaign has also been launched on social media to ban Muslim shopkeepers in different temples. Several posters were shared on social media to keep non-Hindu shopkeepers out of Tontadarya Mutt Mela.
The Dargah of Bappanadu near Mangaluru is considered a symbol of communal harmony. It is said about Durgaparameshwari temple that it was built with the help of a Muslim merchant Bappa. The head of the management committee of this temple has said that he has rejected the demand of Vishwa Hindu Parishad not to allow Muslim shopkeepers to set up shop.
On Monday, two BJP leaders also objected to the ban on traders like this and demanded action from the state government. The fair season occurs in Karnataka between November and April. During this, fairs are held at 40-50 places across the state. Due to Kovid, the shopkeepers who could not do business properly for the last several months had high hopes from these fairs.
Many times, well-known people have expressed concern about the impact of communal harmony in India. These include from big industrialists to artists and filmmakers etc. The issue of banning hijab in schools in Karnataka also created a big controversy between Hindu and Muslim communities.